Argyle Arts
Expand the range of your staff.

Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depth. Choose from our wide selection of pre-written pieces or commission custom notes that complement your concert story.

Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depths.

Custom Notes

Tell your own concert story by commissioning synopses and program notes that fit you needs. Just tell us what you’d like to have, and we'll get back to you with a quote.


Choose from dozens of ready-to-print program notes and synopses which you can download instantly as a digital file, including a license to reproduce the notes in programs and on your website.*

Scroll down to browse available pieces. Click on a title to view more detailed information, including word counts and excerpts.

* - Notes may be displayed on your website for one year following the performance. Contact us to discuss a longer duration.

Ready-to-Print notes and synopses are priced by length. Need something longer or shorter? Submit a Quote Request for Custom Notes to ask for a modified version, and we'll make it happen!

Dvořák: Symphony No. 8

Dvořák: Symphony No. 8


281 words. (Recommended companion note: The Sound of the Czechs)
program notes by Chris Myers

Add To Cart

Copyright © 2016 Chris Myers. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution or reproduction prohibited.

Symphony No. 8 in G major, op. 88, B. 163
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
2 flutes (doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (doubling English horn), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, strings

Composed 1889. First performance: February 2, 1890, Prague. Antonín Dvořák, conductor.

I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio                                                
III. Allegretto grazioso – Molto vivace
IV. Allegro ma non troppo

In Bohemia, the trumpets never call to battle. They always call to the dance.
— Rafael Kubelik

Antonín Dvořák composed the Eighth Symphony at his summer retreat in celebration of his admission to the Prague Academy. The composer wanted to produce “a work which is different from the other symphonies, with individual ideas worked out in a new way.”

In seeking this “new way”, Dvořák backed away from the more rigid logic of his German symphonic training and produced a linear, free-flowing work that sounds almost improvisatory at times. The influence of his beloved Bohemian folk music is evident in the melodic material, as though he were filling the kettle of German symphonic form with Czech-flavored ingredients. Along the way, we encounter innovative orchestration techniques that anticipate Mahler in the way they allow melodic lines to flow uninterrupted through solo and chamber textures created from within the larger orchestral forces.

The piece begins with a movement in typical sonata form, though the themes unfold and flow into one another in an unusually natural way. A pastoral Adagio follows, introduced by a sublime string chorale that leads to a conversation between languid clarinets and birdlike flutes. A gentle waltz gives way to an energetic coda, at which point the trumpets announce the finale, calling us, as Kubelik said, to the dance!

View shopping cart

Continue browsing Program Notes & Synopses